Galway County Council has given the go ahead for a glamping development overlooking Killary Fjord for tourists who want something other than a hotel.
Brackencroft Ltd have been granted planning permission for five one bed wooden glamping pods at Derrynacleigh, Leenane meant specifically for visitors to the nearby Killary Adventure Centre.
Each self-contained pod will have a floor area of roughly 50sqm with an outdoor terrace area providing a view of the surrounding landscape.
Other works involved in the development includes the creation of a path network providing access to the pods, a private well for the site, and an effluent disposal system.
Two objections against these plans were made by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and An Taisce.
TII said that the proposed development would pose a road safety hazard as it is located off a national road where the maximum speed limit applies.
While An Taisce said that the glamping pods “would be more appropriately described as chalets”, and that this development would have a negative impact in a location of landscape and ecological sensitivity.
On June 26 the county council made a request for further information from the developer in order to satisfy these concerns.
A Road Safety Audit was requested, along with a Design Statement and Landscape Plan in order to show how the development will fit into the sensitive local landscape.
In granting planning permission the county council said the developer must either pay €150,000 to carry out the road works on the N59 junction identified in the Road Safety Audit, or enter into an arrangement to carry them out itself.
TII responded that despite the measure laid out in the Road Safety Audit to mitigate the hazard its position remained the same.
“The purpose of the development is to cater for a rise in demand for a more responsible tourism that provides guests with an intrinsically local and responsible experience inspired by the stunning natural surroundings of Connemara,” a Design Statement for the development said.
The current hostel facilities at Killary Adventure Centre are running at capacity it added.
This glamping development “addresses the need for an environmentally suitable solution that directly addresses accommodation shortages in the area”.
The developer said that the glamping pods were designed specifically to fit into the surrounding landscape which contains multiple Special Areas of Conservation.
The wooden lodges will be clad in larch and the roofs will be coated with grass sod in order to retain grass area, as well as to provide a habitat for birds and insects.
Galway County Council granted planning permission with a total of eight conditions attached.